Steve Kerr enters COVID protocols ahead of Warriors-Grizzlies Game 4

SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The news of Kerr entering the league’s health and safety protocols broke just two hours before tip-off Monday night. No one else on the Warriors has tested positive.

Assistant coach Mike Brown will serve as the acting head coach in place of Kerr.

Brown, who was just named the next head coach of the Sacramento Kings, served as Golden State’s acting head coach during a portion of the 2017 playoffs when Kerr was sidelined with a back issue. He led the Warriors to an 11-0 record until Kerr came back for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

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The NBA shortened its required isolation period for vaccinated players and staff from 10 days to six amid the omicron spike in December. Kerr was required to be vaccinated in order to coach the team in San Francisco this season. It appears he’ll miss Game 5 Wednesday and Game 6 Friday but could return for Monday’s Game 7 if the series goes that far and he is asymptomatic.

The Warriors currently hold a 2-1 lead over the Grizzlies in the best-of-seven series.

Kerr started wearing a mask before Game 3 on Saturday night and continued to sport one during media availability and at practice over the course of the following days. His voice sounded hoarse over the last couple of days.

Before Monday’s game, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins sent his coaching counterpart a quick text message with well wishes.

“Just want to send him my best,” Jenkins said. “Hope he gets healthy very soon, rests up, it’s the way of the world right now, COVID is still rampant throughout so I just want to make sure he’s doing well. I know it’s terrible timing and stuff but hopefully his spirits are up. Just want to send him a good note there.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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